Tag Archives: berries

Chilled Fruit Soup: Berries + Kefir

Chilled fruit soup-Berries and KefirWith antioxidant-rich berries and probiotic-rich kefir, this chilled soup is delicious and nutritious. Enjoy as an appetizer, snack, or simple dessert. To adjust the sweetness, just add more or less black raspberry powder!


  • Dairy kefir (plain)
  • Black raspberry powder
  • Frozen wild blueberries, defrosted

STEPS for 1 serving (about 1/2 cup)

  • Pour about 1/3 cup kefir into each individual serving bowl.
  • Add black raspberry powder to taste; mix.
  • Add defrosted wild blueberries and mix.
  • Garnish with a few more blueberries.



Green Valley Organics Kefir. I like Green Valley Organics Kefir because it’s organic, a tad sweet with no more carbs than other plain kefirs — and it’s an amazing source of probiotic bacteria (good gut bugs). I was blown away when I learned that per 8 ounce serving, this kefir contains about 590 billion CFUs or colony forming units of probiotic bacteria from 10 different strains! That’s a lot more than most probiotic supplements!

organic black raspberry powderI love Virgin Extracts Pure Premium Raw Freeze Dried Organic Black Raspberry Powder Extract Concentrate because it’s organic (even though it just says so in fine print on the back of the package), tastes great, is super convenient, and ess expensive than fresh black raspberries — though it’s certainly not cheap.

What makes black raspberries (which, BTW, are not the same as blackberries) so healthy? Check out this extensive list of nutrition and health benefits.

Enjoy and be healthy!
~ Leni


A Kale Berry Smoothie for Breakfast or Anytime

Smoothie Kale Berry
I just became a fan of smoothies for breakfast. Why? My daughter was home for the weekend and usually she just drinks coffee for breakfast — which makes me wince secretly, or, truth be told, not so secretly.

But this weekend, in addition to her coffee, she had a healthy smoothie for breakfast — and even though it wasn’t very sweet, she liked it!

To make her smoothies, I basically followed the recipe in the most recent issue of Nutrition Action and added just one or two more ingredients.


1 cup Earthbound Farm Organic Kickstart, in the Kale Berry flavor (found in freezer section)
3/4 cup of milk (2% or whole milk)
1 – 2 teaspoons of black raspberry powder (optional)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese, part-skim or whole milk (optional)


Just whiz all the ingredients in a high speed blender until it’s creamy.  Add more milk if needed.

The Earthbound Farm product is quite expensive. You can easily cut the cost by buying a bag of each of the ingredients: frozen organic blueberries, strawberries, and kale!

Enjoy and be healthy!

Note to my regular readers – What’s Cooking with the Monamifood Blog

I have not been posting much for a while and that’s because I have been devoting a lot of my “spare” time to reading* and thinking about nutrition. What have I learned? For starters, that a healthy diet is plant based (with an emphasis on whole lower carbohydrate foods) but also with adequate amounts of meat, fish, chicken, and eggs.

In other words, I think it’s healthy to eat eat lots of low carbohydrate veggies and some low carb fruits (especially berries) and to put meat, fish, chicken, and eggs back on the plate in reasonable amounts.

So on the continuum of veg and non-veg, mine is a “hedge your bets” style of healthy eating. I think this makes good common sense. After all, the science of nutrition is constantly changing and evolving. In addition the official doctrines put out by the government (any government) and American Association of This or That are by their very nature influenced by special interest groups. And…even the scientific research published on the pages of prestigious journals depends, at least in part, on the currently held doctrines of the field (as expressed by the editorial boards).

So…making all the right food choices is impossible because we don’t have, and can’t possibly have, all the information we need to choose the most wisely.

In addition we are all genetically different, so there is no one-size-fits all diet.

Still I think there are a few absolutes to guide food choices today:

  • Many whole foods are very healthy (especially vegetables) and we should eat more of them.
  • Some things we think of as foods are not foods at all – just packages of refined junk with advertising to make us want what’s not good for us.

In the future on this blog you will find some delicious and easy to make veggie and non-veggie recipes that are nutritious – at least for most people given what I understand of what we know today about nutrition.

I can’t wait to share the next post I’m working  on — about making delicious and nutritious stock. It’s a winner of a recipe! Coming soon! I promise!

* If you are interested to read the book that turned my mind around and convinced me that a vegetarian diet is not ideal, read The New Atkins for a New You by Eric Westman, MD, MHS, (associate professor of medicine at Duke University Health System and director the Duke Lifesytle Medicine Clinic), Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD, (professor of medicine emeritus at the University of California Davis School of Medicine), Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD, (associate professor and exercise and nutrition researchers in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut).

* If you are interested to know more about choosing healthier carbohydrates (lower in glycemic index and high in nutrients), check out  the information contained in the website for the GI Database hosted by the U of Sydney Australia. Also, I highly recommend you listen to two People’s Pharmacy podcasts which feature Jennie Brand-Miller’s (known for her work with GI index) and Dariush Mozaffarian (author of recent study on diet and weight gain published in The New England Journal of Medicine).